Cattle and fly pests go hand in hand. Flies not only make life miserable for humans and livestock, they also spread disease. Fortunately, natural fly repellents and other controls are effective and safe.
Cedar shavings and cloves are natural fly repellents. Pennyroyal, catnip, tansy and basil are herbs that flies dislike. Use agricultural lime on floors to deter egg laying.
Fly sprays containing pyrethrin (an extract of chrysanthemums) are common products for fly control. Make your own natural fly spray by combining one cup vegetable oil, two cups vinegar, one cup water and one tablespoon essential oil (eucalyptus, mint, citrus or citronella). Mix well and apply to animals.
Fly Parasites and Predators
Fly parasites are beneficial wasps that attack and kill fly pupae, thus eliminating flies at their source. They are very easy to use and have no harmful side effects. For maximum effectiveness, release adult wasps every few weeks during the fly season. Animals, such as spiders, dragonflies and poultry, also feed heavily on flies and their larvae.
Repellents will be ineffective if the environment of the cattle is unsanitary. Keep all areas clean, dry and well ventilated; flies breed quickly in wet manure.